Women, Dogs, and Spiritual Beliefs…

July 12, 2010

There is a very strange custom found in Central India, among certain of the Gond people. According to the ritual it is acceptable for a human being to marry a dog. The Gond are aboriginal tribes, that still speak a fairly simplified set of unwritten languages. Their lifestyle, while not truly nomadic, tends not to have permanent settlements. Their villages are periodically moved to various sites on land which is owned by the whole clan. Their beliefs place them totally outside of the Hindu caste system. They do not acknowledge the superiority of Brahmans and don’t feel bound by many Hindu rules.

Their style of agriculture is quite simple and traditional, which basically involves slash-and-burn operations. So how does the marriage between humans and dogs play a role in this? Well, because they continually clear wild land, the Gond often encounter wild animals, and these encounters can be fatal to humans armed only with digging sticks. The Gond of the Bastar region of India believe that if a woman’s husband has been killed by a wild animal – especially a tiger- it is necessary for her to marry a dog, before she can take another husband.

The Gond believe that the dead husband’s spirit now inhabits the tiger or another beast that killed him, and this spirit will then cause that same beast to kill any new man that the woman marries. To solve this problem the widow first must ceremonially marry a dog. The dead husband’s spirit can then satisfy his jealousy be killing the dog, and he will not threaten the life of the new human husband. Although, this seems like a good outcome for the woman, I am sure, somewhere deep down, the dogs know that a simple divorce would be a better end to their marriage instead of the one the Gond envision for them!

Category: Dog Stories

Some Awesome Facts about a Dog's Perfect Sense of Smell, Hearing and Sight…

July 12, 2010

What does it really mean when someone says, that “the nose knows best?”

Well, dogs naturally have a wonderful sense of smell. They have many more sensory ‘smelling’ cells than a man’s 5,000,000. A Dachshund, for example has 125,000,000; a Fox Terrier has 147,000,000 and a German Shepherd (often used as a ‘sniffer’ dog) has 220,000,000. Truffle hounds can find the fungus delicacy even when it’s a foot underground! However, A dog’s nose is not just used for smelling, but also to keep him cool. That’s why a dog pants. The longer the dog’s nose, the better his cooling system works.

What about a dog’s hearing?

Well, a dog can hear sounds 250 yards (230 meters) away that most people cannot hear beyond 25 yards (23 meters). The human ear can detect sound waves vibrating at frequencies up to 20,000 times a second. But dogs can hear sound waves that vibrate at frequencies of more than 30,000 times a second!

And their eyes?

Dogs cannot see as well as humans. This is a misconception. They see object just fine, but in a differnet way than humans do. A dog sees objects first by their movement, second by their brightness, and third by their shape. Dogs can see color but it is not as vivid a color scheme as we see. It is much like our vision at twilight. Dogs DO have better low-light vision than humans, however because of a special light-reflecting layer behind their retinas called the: tapetum lucidum (bright carpet in Latin).

a dog's perfect sense of smell....

 It seems the saying is right…..the nose does know best…..

Category: Dog Facts

Fighting Dogs vs. Guard Dogs…

July 12, 2010

Fighting Dogs are a perplexing group of dogs to comment on. The majority of them are loving pets with adults and children. The problem is that when they go awry, they are exceptionally dangerous because when they bite, they hold on with exceptional determination and won’t let go. They also have the inclination to lose their loving nature when they enter a pack of dogs more aggressive than themselves. Exceptions are Boxers, Bulldogs and Bostons who seem to have lost their fighting and negative traits. Do not purchase puppies when either parent is aloof or distrusting! If you purchase one of these breeds, accept the fact that it may never get on well with other dogs and may eat cats, birds, etc. Early socialization is a MUST for these breeds. Some Fighter Dog breeds include:

-Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
-American Pit Bull Terrier
-American Staffordshire Terrier
-American Bulldog
-Bull Terrier
-English Bull Mastiff
-English Bulldog
-Olde English Bulldog
-Boston Terrier
-French Bulldog

Guard Dogs are just what their name implies. They guard you and your children from perceived threats by barking and/or biting. A good-tempered dog of this class will differentiate the mailman, garbage-man, your guests, relatives, your children’s wild playmates and the veterinarian from burglars. Unfortunately some make the wrong decision. You need to be strongly assertive and in charge with these breeds so they look to you for decisions regarding strangers. If your wife or husband is passive or submissive to dogs, do not purchase one of these breeds. Passive or submissive people rarely overcome this problem by attending dog obedience school. Like with fighting dogs, these dogs also need early socialization as puppies. Some of these dogs have aggressive temperaments that make them undesirable as pets. Chow Chows, Akitas, Great Danes and large Rottweilers are not known for their long life spans. With the exception of Danes and Alsatians, these dogs are also prone to eyelid defects. Be sure to check the parents’ eyes for inflammation, squinting and infection and ask if corrective eyelid surgery was performed on either parent. Some Guard Dog breeds include:

-Akita Inu
-Asian Mastiff (Dosa)
-Chow Chow
-Great Dane
-English Mastiff
-Pyrenese Mastiff
-Shar-Pei (Chinese Shar-Pei)
-Tibetian Mastiff
-Argentinian Dogo (Dogo Argentino, Argentinian Mastiff)

What do these 2 groups have in common? Well, fighter dogs make good guard dogs as well due to their temperament and territoriality; while a lot of the guard dog breeds can be excellent fighter breeds due to their latent aggression as well. Both need early socialiation and professional obedience training to become balanced and loving pets.

Two dogs fighting

Category: Dog Facts

Canines in Shining Armor…Our Wardogs from the Past…

July 12, 2010

We are all familiar with the stories of Lancelot, and King Arthur. Our Knights in Shining Armor, from our childhood stories….well what about the canines in shining armor? We should not forget about these dogs of war, that for some reason went unnoticed in the legends about knights and fair maidens! Did you know that in the Middle Ages, Mastiffs were dressed in light armor from head to toe? A pot of flaming sulphur was strapped to their armor… Yes…they were then made to run into battle against mounted knights.

And what about the Second World War? Russians trained dogs to run suicide missions between the tracks of German tanks with mines strapped on their backs! But long before this, war dogs were also used before the birth of Christ. Most popular, were war dogs in the Germanic tribes. When the Roman legions set foot on English soil, their dogs wore shining armor and had “wide bodies and stocky figures”. This makes us think of our modern mastiff dog breeds.

The Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Phoenician cultures also left records of having had huge war dogs fighting alongside them. These were the Mollosus breeds. They get their name from the Greek Island of Mollus, and these days, the name Mollosus is the collective group name for the Mastiffs.

During the times of war, these war dogs would walk in front of the Greek and Assyrian legions, for two reasons: Firstly to be the initial target in case the opposition fired, and secondly so that they could find out where the enemy was positioned according to scent. These dogs were given collars of armor with protruding knives so that when they were let free they caused a significant blood-bath between the soldiers and the horses they attacked. Another tactic was to let the owner of the Mastiff walk in front of the beast. Meanwhile a slave led the “ammunition-ed” dog behind the owner on a leash. When the owner saw trouble and was attacked by the enemy, the slave immediately let the beast go, and he in turn rushed to attack the enemy and to save his master….The blood-bath that followed I will leave up to your imagination…..

Category: Dog Stories

The World’s Worst Genetic Mutation in a Dog:

July 12, 2010

No, this dog does not have Arnold Schwarzenegger’s genes and no ….she hasn’t even spent a day at the gym. That’s right. She. Meet Wendy. The Whippet. Not exactly the most feminine representative of her breed, Wendy is a result of a genetic mutation. I first thought she was the best altered digital photo of the century, but (sadly?) she is real! Wendy – the dog whose appearance is a long way from the usual long, lean and sleek look of her breed- lives on a farm in Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada and is what scientists refer to as : “ double-muscled” or a ” Bully Whippet”. Due to the genetic defect, nature rewarded her with twice the muscle size compared to the other representatives of her breed. Resembling the cross between Schwarzenegger and the Incredible Hulk, Wendy still has the heart, lungs and head of a normal-sized Whippet. Only her musculature is twice that of her breed.


Category: Dog Stories

Here's a Quick List of the FCI Dog Breed Groups:

July 12, 2010

Under which group does your dog fall? FCI means the “Fédération Cynologique Internationale” which is a dog breed standards organization. It promotes and protects purebred dogs.

The list of FCI Groups for Dog Breeds:

Group 1 – Pastoral
Group 2 – Mastiffs & Pinschers
Group 3 – Terriers
Group 4 – Dachshunds
Group 5 – Spitz breeds
Group 6 – Scenthounds
Group 7 – Pointers & Setters
Group 8 – Retrievers & Spaniels
Group 9 – Toys
Group 10 – Sighthounds

For a more detailed list of dog breeds that are classified according to the 10 FCI groups, read further……

Category: Dog Facts

The Naked Truth About Hairless Dog Breeds!

July 12, 2010

We have probably all seen the interesting dog breeds that are labeled as the hairless breeds. Some would call them disgusting; some would call them strange, but more often than not the reactions are due to a lack of knowledge. What do we really know about the naked dog breeds? For years, scientists have believed that the hairless dog breeds originate from Africa and Asia. However there is not much evidence to back up this theory. One theory states that the Chinese Crested – one of the better known of the hairless breeds- originated in Africa and then moved onto Asia. So how did most of the hairless breeds end up in Latin America? Well scientists believe that all the hairless breeds in Latin America are descendents of the Chinese Crested that were brought to the continent in pre-Columbian times. Their popularity rose, as the Inca’s found that the naked, furless bodies were good for rheumatoid complaints. Much like a hot-water bottle!The hairlessness is due to a dominant gene. It is enough to have even one such gene to be totally naked!! Thus this trait is hard to outwit with human intervention, since it is enough for a dog to pass on only one gene, for the offspring to be hairless. It becomes easier to understand how these breeds can develop in distant areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America under these circumstances. There is only one hairless breed that needs two genes for hairlessness to occur. That is the American Hairless Terrier.

American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier

 So which are the other 8 dogs that fall under the hairless category?

Category: Dog Facts

What Everybody Ought to Know About Flyball…the Ultimate Dog Sport!

July 12, 2010

Euro Puppy is fascinated by Flyball… What is Flyball? Well, Flyball is a relay dog sport in which teams of four dogs run a race against each other from a start to finish line. They have to jump over a line of hurdles, to reach a box. When the dog presses this spring-loaded box-pad, a tennis ball is released and caught by the dog. The dogs then run back over the hurdles once more; to their handlers while carrying the ball. Flyball was invented in California in the 1970s, and mostly took off during the 1980s when the first flyball organization, the North American Flyball Association (NAFA) was created. Their aim was to promote the sport and to design uniform competition rules. A second for-profit organization has emerged in the last few years. They go by the name of United Flyball League International (U-FLI). There may be slight changes in the rules in the US, the UK and New Zealand, where Flyball is very popular.

A Flyball course consists of four hurdles placed 10 feet (3 m) apart from each other, with the starting line 6 feet (1.8 m) from the first hurdle. The flyball box is placed 15 feet (4.5 m) after the last hurdle. This creates a 51-foot (15.5 m) track length. The hurdle height is determined by the shoulder height of the smallest dog in the team. The North American Flyball Association stipulates that that hurdle height should be 4 inches (10 cm) below the withers height of the smallest dog, to a height of no less than 7 inches (20.3 cm) and no greater than 14 inches (40.6 cm). Each dog must return its ball all the way across the start line before the next dog crosses. Ideal running is nose-to-nose at the start line. The winning team is the one that has all four dogs cross the finish line without an error. If the ball is dropped or the next relay dog is released too early, teams are penalized.

Category: Dog Stories

The Truth Revealed About Your Dog's Real Age!

July 12, 2010

You sit, looking at your dog that has been with you for a countless number of years. You wonder…”If Spot was actually a human…how old would he be? Would he still play ball, or sit under the tree in the garden like Grandpa?”…Well dogs age differently and the magical 7 years does not always apply. Euro Puppy is proud to present some very interesting and useful statistics -that was performed in the US. The results are based on a chart developed by Dr. Fred L. Metzger, State College, PA. All dog-lovers who want to know the real age of their dogs…in human years, look at your dog’s age…then look at what weight category in pounds he or she belongs to. You will then see the age equivalent in human years.

Dog Age

It is also important to note that larger breeds of dogs have a shorter life span than smaller dogs, and a small dog may mature more quickly in the first few years than a large dog would.

Category: Dog Facts

Why Do Dogs' Eyes Glow in the Dark?

July 12, 2010

You have most probably seen that your dog’s eyes glow at night, like flourescent globes. Ever wonder why they do that? Well it has a rather simple scientific explanation. Dogs have a mirror-like layer of cells called the tapetum lucidum (bright carpet in Latin) at the back of their eyes. Humans do not possess these cells. The job of these cells is to improve a dog’s vision in dim light. It achieves this by reflecting light back to the retina. The more light the retina receives the more information it has to work with to translate that light into images. So when you see your dog’s eyes as glowing spheres in the dark, what you’re actually seeing is light being reflected by the tapetum lucidum cells, so that images can be formed. Otherwise, without these cells, dogs would be unable to see at night. The eyes of many animals -including dogs – will also reflect yellow, green, or other colors in flash photography as well. It is called the “green-eye effect” or the “green eyeshine” in animals. In humans on the other hand, the opposite “red-eye effect” is a problem because, with no tapetum lucidum layer to block the light, it reaches the blood-rich region at the back of the eye and causes a brilliant red image of it to be focused back through the lens of the eye, giving even the nicest people red, glowing, demonic eyes in flash photographs.

doberman with glowing eyes

Category: Dog Facts
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